1. This Sunday is the birthday of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, the English mathematician and writer whose most famous works include Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandThrough the Looking-Glass, and The Hunting of the Snark. Such works featured Carroll’s specialty: coining blends and nonce words. Here are some of our favorites:
    1. Boojum
      The boojum is “a particularly dangerous variety of ‘snark,’” an imaginary creature of Carroll’s invention. The word boojum has inspired the naming of everything from “a species of tree… native to Baja California, Mexico” (found in 1922 by plant explorer Godfrey Sykes, who proclaimed, “It must be a boojum!”); to a supersonic cruise missile that “was determined to be too ambitious a project… and was canceled in 1951”; to “a geometric pattern sometimes observed on the surface of superfluid helium-3,” as named by physicist David Mermin in 1976.
      Example: But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day, / If your Snark be a Boojum!  For then / You will softly and suddenly vanish away, / And never be met with again!” — Lewis Carroll, The Hunting of the Snark, 1876
       
    2. Chortle
      To chortle means “to exclaim exultingly, with a noisy chuckle.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), Carroll coined the word as a blend of chuckle and snort.
      Example: ”He chortled in his joy.” —Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, 1871
       
    3. Frabjous 
      Frabjous means “great, wonderful, fabulous,” and is a blend of either fabulous and joyous, or fair and joyous. “O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” cries the narrator of The Jabberwocky upon learning that the Jabberwock has been slain.
      Example: “‘O frabjous day!’ rejoiced Emma Dean, using her bath towel as a scarf and performing a weird dance about the room.” — Jessie Graham Flower, Grace Harlowe’s Return to Overton Campus, 1915
     
  1. cuddlingcurly likes this
  2. jocelynmeadows likes this
  3. takeiteasyloven0thing reblogged this from known-stranger
  4. i--do--what--i--want likes this
  5. wowordrown likes this
  6. rokuroku reblogged this from known-stranger
  7. rokuroku likes this
  8. known-stranger reblogged this from theweekmagazine
  9. whenyourheartwasopenwide likes this
  10. abnab reblogged this from theweekmagazine
  11. curmudgeonlaine likes this
  12. nikitarina reblogged this from jumblejo
  13. iconqueredmyself likes this
  14. jahnnasbrain reblogged this from theweekmagazine
  15. kaliko-kollectiv reblogged this from theweekmagazine
  16. wineuponmylips reblogged this from theweekmagazine
  17. moomootheuglyshoe likes this
  18. merhasstellyrhas reblogged this from face-down-asgard-up
  19. duckduckpanda reblogged this from face-down-asgard-up
  20. alices-adventures-in-underland likes this
  21. ineednousername likes this
  22. jasmarie1900 likes this
  23. mackenzie-brown reblogged this from theweekmagazine
  24. xxlifeisdivinechaosxx likes this
  25. beautifulglimmer likes this
  26. discordatitsfinest likes this
  27. llaple likes this
  28. lookingformuchness likes this
  29. mistress-of-dream-catcher likes this
  30. msmatchedsocks likes this
  31. pridenotprejudice likes this
  32. safiana likes this
  33. waywardcharm likes this
  34. aminamithri likes this
  35. cardcarryingcynic reblogged this from face-down-asgard-up
  36. macaplease reblogged this from caroline-decker
  37. downlookingup reblogged this from petit-four
  38. downlookingup likes this
  39. eager-eevee likes this
  40. caroline-decker reblogged this from face-down-asgard-up
  41. jooniemoon reblogged this from amyleona
  42. jinxasaurus likes this
  43. demonicallyperfect likes this
  44. amonsteraday likes this
  45. mutablefire likes this
  46. ehmkay likes this
  47. andersonnyandcher reblogged this from face-down-asgard-up
  48. rumandstars likes this
  49. theyellowninja reblogged this from face-down-asgard-up
  50. cosmic-wanker likes this